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Old June 28, 2012, 09:30 AM   #1
Hawkman
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ObamaCare Decision: Please Read Page 3

The government cannot PENALIZE me if I don't buy a product, but it can impose a TAX on me if I don't buy a product. Thus, if they don't want me to be a gunowner, they can't penalize me; they just impose any tax they want on me if I own guns, right?

Do what we want, no tax. Don't obey, and we'll tax your butt off.

Folks, we are in REAL trouble.
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Old June 28, 2012, 09:33 AM   #2
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I can only do my best to make sure it is remedied in 2013...

That is all I can do now...

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Old July 5, 2012, 12:47 AM   #3
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Is this open again?
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Gun Control: The premise that a woman found in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, is morally superior to allowing that same woman to defend her life with a firearm.

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Old July 5, 2012, 01:33 AM   #4
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You posted, didn't you?
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Old July 5, 2012, 03:19 AM   #5
jimpeel
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Regardless of where this leads, and whether Obama survives re-election or Obamacare is repealed in its entirety, we now have in this country established law that any citizen can be taxed for commercial inactivity. The disuse of any goods or services could be taxed at whatever rate the government decides.

As Allen West said, "I believe for personal security, every American should go out and have to buy a Glock 9mm; and if you don't do it, we'll tax you."

So the die is cast. This will be the largest expansion of government power in the history of this country or perhaps the world.

Never before has a tax been laid for not doing something. It has always been for doing something such as buying a product, using a service, or operating in commerce.

This ruling was insanity at its finest.

The only other answer would be that Roberts took it upon himself to poke a stick into the eye of the apathetic American public to goad them to action. If so, that would make him a political martyr.
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Gun Control: The premise that a woman found in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, is morally superior to allowing that same woman to defend her life with a firearm.

"Science is built up with facts, as a house is with stones. But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house." - Jules Henri Poincare

"Three thousand people died on Sept. 11 because eight pilots were killed"
-- former Northwest Airlines pilot Stephen Luckey

Last edited by Tom Servo; July 5, 2012 at 08:40 AM. Reason: Removed noise
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Old July 5, 2012, 05:34 AM   #6
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I agree with the fact the ruling sets a bad precedent, but how does obamacare affect gun owners directly?

I downloaded the bill in PDF and briefly, very briefly, considered reading it. Using the search utility I was able to find the word "firearm" several times. In all instances it was noting the requirement of disclosure of ownership of a legal firearm was not to be allowed. For instance, page 21 sec (A) and (B)

Can anyone cite specific parts of the bill a firearm owner should be worried about? Maybe there are key words which will turn up results that contradict the above.

Mods, if this post is out of line my apologies.
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Old July 5, 2012, 07:24 AM   #7
jason_iowa
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Obama does not care about our guns and even if he did it could never pass anything through congress relating to gun control. Political suicide for republicans and to many pro gun dems.

Of the 2 Romney is the only one with a record taxing gun owners
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Old July 5, 2012, 07:35 AM   #8
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Nudge...nudge...nudge.

The issue is precedence. This could effect everything including firearms.

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Old July 5, 2012, 07:41 AM   #9
musher
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I'm still struggling to wrap my head around this decision, but I'm not 100% convinced it isn't a good decision. Positives (from my perspective)

1. Another nail holding back commerce clause expansion
2. A states rights principle limiting the feds ability to coerce states to spend money on federal schemes (medicare expansion).

On the issue of allowing the fed to tax inactivity, I'm not sure it's really a new principle. Perhaps it's just another way to state something that has been done for ages in the tax code.

Is a tax break for a particular activity the functional equivalent of a tax on not engaging in that activity?

Don't want to buy a house with a mortgage? Pay the tax you wouldn't have to pay if you got your mortgage deduction.

Don't want to buy an electric car? Pay the tax you wouldn't have to pay if you bought one.

Would the net effect be different if the fed had framed this tax as

1. An increase in your income tax rate
2. Establishing a tax deduction if you could prove you had health insurance?


Whether the tax code can and should properly be used to influence behavior rather than simply to raise revenue is the heart of the question. The federal government has been using it for that purpose for a very long time.

I think this social/behavioral engineering is an abuse of the taxing power, but I'm not convinced this decision has laid out a power for the federal government that hadn't already been taken for granted for some time.

The NFA tax was a blatant attempt to influence behavior through the taxing power. The federal government established the NFA tax because at the time congress didn't believe they had the power to simply ban firearms.

In recent times, the unrestrained expansion of 'commerce clause' powers (witness things like the assault rifle ban & the school zone ban) has been the greater danger to firearms owners, I think. Perhaps putting up another barrier to that expansion of federal power really represents a net win out of this decision for those who prefer to see a more limited federal government.
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Old July 5, 2012, 07:53 AM   #10
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What ever happened to the south Dakota attempt at mandating gun purchases? Never heard anything about it after the initial attempts
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Old July 5, 2012, 08:19 AM   #11
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I don't like it, but I understand it.

In the case of health insurance, people who don't have any cost the government millions, if not billions. The REASONING makes sense, we'll have to wait and see if it works in practice though. They are basically passing that cost on to the no insurance crowd making them pay their share of the costs. As someone who has had his own health insurance since I was 22, I have no problem with this. At least now the insurance can't put a limit on how much they'll cover if I ever have a major ongoing problem.

I think this is a non-issue as far as gun ownership. I'd be more worried that insurance companies will charge more to cover gun owners, similar to how some life insurance companies charge scuba divers more. (claiming higher risk and therefore liability)
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Old July 5, 2012, 08:37 AM   #12
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I know alot of state nursing agencies (NJ visiting nurses among them) will not assist you if you are a gun owner, (they even ask you on their forms).
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Old July 5, 2012, 08:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jef2015
Can anyone cite specific parts of the bill a firearm owner should be worried about?
Yes, the use of a tax as described in Hawkman's first sentence.

I don't think this ACA decision is quite as awful as many ACA opponents do, in part because it contains some language that may be useful in future.

I would observe that the tax code is already used to influence a wide range of behaviors, and that NFA purchases are discouraged by a substantial regulatory burden and a tax. Nothing would prohibit, as a political matter, that kind of regulatory and tax burden from shifting into all other arms.

The part of the reasoning I find most curious is that the ACA mandate isn't within congressional authority as granted by the commerce clause, but since the congress has the authority to tax the ACA mandate is upheld as a valid exercise of taxing authority.

It doesn't take a lot of imagination to foresee a punitive tax on gun ownership or public speaking. Under the Roberts' rationale, since those taxes prohibit no speech or ownership, and congress has taxing authority, would those taxes be upheld?


Quote:
Originally Posted by njgunowner
I'd be more worried that insurance companies will charge more to cover gun owners,...
Under the ACA, they can't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by congress
‘‘SEC. 2701. FAIR HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS.
‘‘(a) PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATORY PREMIUM RATES.—
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—With respect to the premium rate
charged by a health insurance issuer for health insurance coverage
offered in the individual or small group market—
‘‘(A) such rate shall vary with respect to the particular
plan or coverage involved only by
‘‘(i) whether such plan or coverage covers an individual
or family
;
‘‘(ii) rating area, as established in accordance with
paragraph (2);
‘‘(iii) age, except that such rate shall not vary
by more than 3 to 1 for adults (consistent with section
2707(c)); and
‘‘(iv) tobacco use, except that such rate shall not
vary by more than 1.5 to 1; and
‘‘(B) such rate shall not vary with respect to the particular
plan or coverage involved by any other factor not
described in subparagraph (A).
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-11...111publ148.pdf

Last edited by zukiphile; July 5, 2012 at 08:49 AM.
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Old July 5, 2012, 10:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
As someone who has had his own health insurance since I was 22
As have I, a bit longer actually - so does this include refunds or credits for those of us who have been paying full price for decades?
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Old July 5, 2012, 12:51 PM   #15
NJgunowner
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Why should they refund you? If you pay $25k for a car and 6 months later it drops to $23k, is the dealership going to mail you a check for the difference
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Old July 5, 2012, 01:02 PM   #16
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I see people here comparing tax credits and asking if that is a tax on the rest of us for not buying the item to get the tax credit.

The answer is "No." The tax credits come from the general fund and are not taken from other individuals for that specific purpose alone.

As to firearms owners, there is no tax for not owning a firearm. There are only taxes for doing so -- sales, Pittman-Robertson, etc., -- not to mention hunting licenses, fees, and penalties for not having a license while hunting. There is no tax on others for our ownership of firearms, only benefits derived from our ownership such as Pittman-Robertson.

The fact is that there could be taxes levied for, say, one not owning an electric car. Those who own petroleum fed vehicles would be taxed at the pump. But even if they called it a penalty for non-ownership of an electric vehicle it is still a tax on the ownership of a petroleum fed vehicle. So even if they stated that it is a tax against those who fail to participate in one activity it is still a tax on those who choose to participate in another.

The only way that the type of tax cited above would be a non-participatory tax would be if it were a direct tax on everyone who does not own an electric vehicle -- even those who do not own a vehicle at all.

See the difference?

Now, as for a tax on the non-ownership of a firearm; anyone see that one coming any time soon or even withing the bounds of time eternal?
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Gun Control: The premise that a woman found in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, is morally superior to allowing that same woman to defend her life with a firearm.

"Science is built up with facts, as a house is with stones. But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house." - Jules Henri Poincare

"Three thousand people died on Sept. 11 because eight pilots were killed"
-- former Northwest Airlines pilot Stephen Luckey
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Old July 5, 2012, 01:16 PM   #17
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What this ruling did was say that there are absolutely no limits on what can be taxed or how convoluted those taxes are or what activity can be controlled through taxation. Of course historically SCOTUS has been fine with taxing arms out of the reach of common citizens. That was the "logic" behind the NFA and while $250 doesn't sound like an arm and a leg now at the it was the equivalent to roughly $3200 in today's dollars per weapon transferred. They could easily extend the NFA to cover all non-muzzle loading black powder weapons and adjust the transfer tax "for inflation" to $3200 each and even require you to pay a similar per weapon tax to register and grandfather in each of your existing firearms. Or create a national property tax of say $1000/year/firearm, or a $10/rd healthcare tax on ammo and reloading supplies to cover "health risks". They aren't restricting your right to keep and bear arms - just taxing it out of reach of most of us. The last of the limits on federal power were erased from the constitution as long as the method used to control us is labeled a tax.
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Old July 5, 2012, 01:39 PM   #18
gc70
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Quote:
It doesn't take a lot of imagination to foresee a punitive tax on gun ownership or public speaking. Under the Roberts' rationale, since those taxes prohibit no speech or ownership, and congress has taxing authority, would those taxes be upheld?
I think the examples of gun ownership and public speaking get to the heart of the matter. Congress clearly has the power to tax, essentially without any specific limits. However, when that power of the government conflicts with a constitutional right (RKBA or speech), longstanding legal precedent holds that a right limits a power.

I see the ObamaCare decision much like Kelo - repugnant, but technically correct. Like Kelo, the ObamaCare decision should be a strong message from the judicial system that the courts cannot (and should not) fix everything and that the citizens must exercise control over the legislative branch.
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Old July 5, 2012, 01:42 PM   #19
varmiter
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A different view than most.

Some here may just be interested in these two articles of mine:

http://www.freelibertywriters.com/ch...oes-it-re.html

And

http://www.freelibertywriters.com/ch...at-is-not.html
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Old July 5, 2012, 01:58 PM   #20
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I think the concern is that at any point in the future, through this law, it can be determined that your lifestyle creates "unnecessary risk". Sometime back a few years there was some outrage that physicians were asking patients during regular check ups if they had firearms and did they store them safely. I am not sure why this was being asked but it concerned me so I said I did not own firearms.
What's to say under this new law that you can't be charged more or taxed more for owning a firearm. What's to say you can't be refused coverage because you own a firearm. It is very gray in areas what can or cannot be held against you or what you could be taxed for going forward.
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Old July 5, 2012, 02:00 PM   #21
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Quote:
A different view than most.

Some here may just be interested in these two articles of mine:

http://www.freelibertywriters.com/ch...oes-it-re.html

And

http://www.freelibertywriters.com/ch...at-is-not.html
I am not a lawyer but there seems to be some debate within the legal community about whether the the commerce clause restrictions are a binding part of the ruling or merely dictum. I suspect that congress will take it as dictum and future lower courts and a future (after more appointments) SCOTUS may agree that what we assumed was a limitation on federal power was just non-binding discussion.

http://www.volokh.com/2012/07/02/a-s...s-dictum-mess/
Quote:
Much literal and blogospheric ink has already been spilled over the question of whether the Court’s conclusion that the Commerce Clause does not authorize the individual mandate is part of the holding or mere dictum.
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Old July 5, 2012, 02:05 PM   #22
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Without having read the links varminter gave us, I thought to place my own thoughts on this decision.

First, I think we need to look at what the questions were, that the Court granted certiorari on.

From NFIB v. Sebelius (11-292) we have:
Quote:
The question presented is whether the ACA must be invalidated in its entirety because it is non-severable from the individual mandate that exceeds Congress’ limited and enumerated powers under the Constitution.
From Florida v. Dept. of H&HS (11-400) we have:
Quote:
1. Does Congress exceed its enumerated powers and violate basic principles of federalism when it coerces States into accepting onerous conditions that it could not impose directly by threatening to withhold all federal funding under the single largest grant-in-aid program, or does the limitation on Congress‘s spending power that this Court recognized in South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987), no longer apply?

2. May Congress treat States no differently from any other employer when imposing invasive mandates as to the manner in which they provide their own employees with insurance coverage, as suggested by Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority, 469 U.S. 528 (1985), or has Garcia‘s approach been overtaken by subsequent cases in which this Court has explicitly recognized judicially enforceable limits on Congress‘s power to interfere with state sovereignty?

3. Does the Affordable Care Act‘s mandate that virtually every individual obtain health insurance exceed Congress‘s enumerated powers and, if so, to what extent (if any) can the mandate be severed from the remainder of the Act?
From Dept. of H&HS v. Florida (11-398) we have:
Quote:
1. Whether Congress had the power under Article I of the Constitution to enact the minimum coverage provision.

Petitioners also suggest that the Court direct the parties to address the following question:

2. Whether the suit brought by respondents to challenge the minimum coverage provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is barred by the Anti-Injunction Act, 26 U.S.C. 7421(a).
In granting cert to 11-393 and 11-400, the Court agreed to the following:
Quote:
The petition for a writ of certiorari in No. 11-393 is granted. The petition for a writ of certiorari in No. 11-400 is granted limited to the issue of severability presented by Question 3 of the petition.
In granting cert to 11-398, the Court agreed to this:
Quote:
The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. In addition to Question 1 presented by the petition, the parties are directed to brief and argue the following question: "Whether the suit brought by respondents to challenge the minimum coverage provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is barred by the Anti-Injunction Act, 26 U.S.C. §7421(a)."
Separately, in granting cert to 11-400, the Court said:
Quote:
The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted limited to Question 1 presented by the petition.
Phrased another way, the Court asked whether or not the act was constitutional and if not, could certain portions be severed from the act.

So then, we have:

Four Justices said it was perfectly fine. Four justices said it was flatly beyond the reach of the authority of Congress granted by the Constitution.

The controlling opinion (decision) was therefore penned by Chief Justice Roberts.

In reaching his decision, CJ Roberts agreed with Scalia, Kennedy, Alito and Thomas, that under the Commerce Clause, it was beyond the power of the Congress. CJ Roberts then used the constitutional avoidance doctrine to define the penalty a tax, and therefore the act was constitutional under the taxing power of the Congress.

Having reached the conclusion that the act was constitutional, CJ Roberts did not have to reach to the question of severabilty.

What CJ Roberts did not do was to decide that the tax was a constitutional tax, as defined. That was not necessary to the decision.

That leaves open the question of whether this is a direct tax, in direct violation of the taxing powers of Congress.

There was one other thing that CJ Roberts did, that in my mind was entirely wrong. He rewrote the act to say that the Medicaid enhancements appropriations only could be withheld from the States that did not implement the new Medicaid rules. This is a rewrite, since the act is specific in that States that do not enter into the new enhanced Medicaid plan were to lose ALL Medicaid funding.

This last part was beyond the authority of the Court. The Judicial branch can rule on applicability of an act, but cannot rewrite an act.

The above, in my opinion, are the salient points to the decision from last week.
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Old July 5, 2012, 02:15 PM   #23
varmiter
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My apologies for the links. These links will work.

http://tinyurl.com/88woe8w

And

http://tinyurl.com/7l7nl78

Chris
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Old July 5, 2012, 02:24 PM   #24
zukiphile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sholling
I am not a lawyer but there seems to be some debate within the legal community about whether the the commerce clause restrictions are a binding part of the ruling or merely dictum.
I find that discussion odd since holding and obiter dicta are not the only choices. To the degree this issue of first impression is met with a rationale for the decision, you have something valuable for future use.

5-4 decisions are of dubious value in argument, but this does look like a coherent response to the commerce clause issue. Future courts will be bound by what the justices at that time find most persuasive; there are no permanent constitutional victories.

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Old July 5, 2012, 03:01 PM   #25
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Anybody here ever read the law? I haven't but then I wasn't going to vote on it. Someone said they downloaded it. I understand it's pretty thick.

If the whole thing is a tax, well, you do have representation, sort of. You may not have the representative you voted for and the representative that got elected may not have any particular belief that he represents you in any way but that's the way it works. Write your congressman and tell him you want Medicare, Social Security and the affordable health care act all repealed because all right-thinking Americans should be able to manage such things themselves, provided the factory where they work is still open. Better yet, give him a call. He calls and leaves us messages all the time.

The last time there was a revolution over taxes, the taxes were to pay for a war. I guess that's why we don't have a war tax.
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